Clonakilty 3-10 Ilen Rovers 0-11
LOCAL Garda Dara Ó Sé led Clonakilty to an important opening round victory over west Cork rivals Ilen Rovers in the Bon Secours county premier senior football championship at Rosscarbery on Sunday.
The talented centre-forward helped himself to a grand tally of 2-5, both goals coming in the second half to kill Ilen's spirited challenge.
Ó Sé struck first after 39 minutes. Conor Daly reacted quickly to spot the unmarked Jack O'Mahony on the left and his pass set-up Ó Sé, whose thunderous shot struck the underside of the crossbar en route to the back of the net.
It gave Clon a two-goal cushion at 2-7 to 0-7 and the game began to fizzle out at this early juncture with the sides exchanging points before the second water break.
Sean Minihane's well-executed point on the resumption offered Ilen hope until Ó Sé intervened again, slotting over an equally impressive point before netting a second time in the 50th minute.
Ó Sé expertly tucked away a penalty with a firm shot to the left of keeper Damien O'Sullivan after impressive midfieder Joe Grimes was fouled.
That made it a three-goal game, 3-9 to 0-9, and wrapped up the points for Clon, who renew acquaintances with Ballincollig next time out.
There was a welcome return for the closing 20 minutes of Cork defender Maurice Shanley, who has been plagued with hamstring issues since starring at full-back for Cork last season.
In the first half Ilen led by 0-3 to 0-2 before the first water break following a very cagey opening during which Clon keeper Mark White suffered a leg injury following an excursion inside the Ilen 45.
The Cork player needed treatment before hobbling back to his slot between the posts but didn't appear comfortable at all, having engineered a fine Grimes point via an accurate kick-out.
The sides were level on two occasions early before Peter O'Driscoll, who caught the eye with some of his first-half shooting, nudged over a free to hand Ilen a slender advantage.
As is often the case, however, the resumption after the short interval proved profitable for one side, in this instance Clon, who scored 1-2 without response.
A mix-up from a short Ilen kick-out led to Ross Mannix, soccer-style, striking the butt of an upright before the ball was eventually cleared.
Ó Sé levelled for a third time with a super point off his left from an acute angle on the left and Mannix edged Clon ahead with a point following more good use of the foot pass.
Then came an important moment after 24 minutes with a well-worked Clon goal, Mannix, who rounded keeper O'Sullivan, supplying the finishing touches to a move involving Gearoid Barry, Sean White and Daly.
Ilen, though, cancelled it out with three fine points in as many minutes, two from O'Driscoll and the other from substitute Dermot Hegarty to leave only a point separating the sides, 1-4 to 0-6, approaching injury-time.
O'Driscoll found the range from distance with a couple of superb points in quick succession and substitute Dermot Hegarty, who had replaced the injured full-back Paddy Minihane, followed suit.
Clon, though, sensing danger, pulled further ahead with a couple of important points from the hard-running Daly following a super cross-field pass from John O'Mahony.
Fittingly, an Ó Sé free closed out the half before striking for all those crucial goals in the second period.